William Fowler

William Fowler

American physicist and astrophysicist. Winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics
Date of Birth: 09.08.1911
Country: USA

  1. William Fowler: American Physicist and Astrophysicist
  2. Early Life and Education

William Fowler: American Physicist and Astrophysicist

Early Life and Education

William Alfred Fowler, an American physicist and astrophysicist, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the eldest of three children of Jenny Summers (Watson) Fowler and John Macleod Fowler, an accountant. When William was two years old, the family moved to Lima, Ohio, a major railway hub, where he developed a lifelong love for trains. His interest in science and technology was encouraged by his teachers at school. He enrolled at Ohio State University in 1929 to specialize in ceramic engineering, but switched to the newly established program in applied physics during his second year. He graduated with honors and wrote his senior thesis on "Focusing of Electron Beams." Fowler then pursued a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he worked under the guidance of Danish physicist Charles Lauritsen. He completed his doctoral dissertation titled "Radioactive Elements of Low Atomic Number" in 1936. After earning his Ph.D., Fowler became a staff member at the Kellogg Radiation Laboratory, where he eventually became the first Institute Professor of Physics in 1970. During World War II, the Kellogg Laboratory conducted military research, and Fowler contributed to the development of detonators, rocket and torpedo weapons, and atomic weapons. For his work, he received the Medal for Merit from the United States government in 1948.